Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. A.J. Rasure
Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point Marines performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Marine's Corps East Coast Composite Band.
The band is comprised of 80 instrumentalists from the Marine Corps’ three largest east coast installations: Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.
The journey to the parade has been two years in the making. The Marine Corps won a spot in the Macy’s parade in the 2011 lottery from more than 150 applicants.
Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Otis is the enlisted conductor for the band. It’s also the first time they’ll be able to travel since the sequestration began in January.
“When [the viewers] see a group of 80 Marines marching down the street in their dress blues and with their medals, they’ll really get a glimpse of the pride of the Marine Corps, which goes beyond what we do in combat,” Otis said. “Our job is to show people that we have a three-block war mentality and we are that third block, we’re that hand reaching out,” said Otis.
The 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage started at 9:00 a.m. and will air again at 2:00 p.m. on WITN, following The National Dog Show.